Life in the NFL
Disappointed by one loss, encouraged by another
MAN it was a rough week. We had a real tough loss to the New York Jets. If any of you got to watch the game, we struggled early on, but made a nice comeback and late run which fell short in the end.
I personally did not play particularly well in the season opener. Hopefully, I can bounce back in the next couple of games. It is always rough losing a game when we feel that we felt we should have and could have won. And in the NFL, when every game counts, it makes every loss that much more tough to stomach.
The schedule only gets harder from here on out. Our next game will be a huge challenge for us. To go on the road, against a team as good as the San Diego Chargers, we are going to have to get things rolling in order to pull out a win. But after a tough loss you've got to bounce back. Hopefully we can.
We have serious talent on a really young team. It is just a matter of pulling it all together and eliminating the little mistakes. That for us will be huge. It's funny how the critics and skeptics are already counting us out after just one loss, saying we won't win more than four games. They shouldn't count us out so soon. We have done a lot in this offseason to improve and we have. I think we have a great team with a lot of ability, we just didn't put it all together last week, but we will.
But for now I want to take this time and give a shout out to my boys at Hawaii. I was watching the game last week against Alabama, and even though it got a little sloppy, I was very impressed. June Jones has done an unreal job putting that team back together after struggling a little bit last season.
I still know a lot of the guys on the team, because many of them I played with. Mel Purcell, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Kenny Patton, Leonard Peters, Samson Satele, Dane Uperesa, Nate Ilaoa, Ross Dickerson, just to name a few, all provide a solid core for a team with a lot of talent both young and old. Even with the mistakes they made against Alabama, the Warriors stayed in the game to the very end and proved they can play with the big boys. Personally, I think Hawaii is better than Alabama, but Alabama got lucky and won the game.
I saw a lot of good things in that game. Peters looked to be back to his old wild playing style, while Patton showed he is the best cover corner for Hawaii. Purcell and Alama-Francis both looked good, but I felt sorry for them the way they are utilized in that 3-4 defense.
If I had two big-time defensive end prospects as my book-ends, I would let them get out there and rush the passer. I will admit that I have a bias though because I play the same position. I wouldn't want to sit and take on double teams for other guys to make or miss tackles. Especially since those two guys are two of the better players on the team, limiting their game is like tying a race horse to a snow plow. I would let them get out wide and play, make plays, and create havoc for offensive teams. But what do I know, I am not a coach.
Jones and Jerry Glanville have more football knowledge in their pinkie fingers than I do. That is why they are in charge, and make the big bucks. I was also really impressed with how Nate Ilaoa and the big boy, Reagan Mauia, were able to run the ball. Having a solid running game really helps a defense out; especially since it helps manage the clock. As a whole, the O-line looked really good to say the least. As he has since he was a freshman, Samson Satele looked good in the middle running the show from center. Some people might question his move from guard to center, but from the standpoint of NFL scouts, it shows Samson's versatility. My brother tells me that Samson is one of the top overall offensive linemen in the country, and it showed against Alabama. Samson will definitely be playing on Sundays and I am sure he will go high in the draft.
But Samson's line-mates are all very good players as well, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the others playing in the NFL. The solid play of the O-line allowed for Ross Dickerson, Jason Rivers and a pair of young guys, Ryan Grice-Mullins and Davone Bess, to do their thing. I was really impressed with the young receiver duo last season, and it looked like they were just getting started against Alabama.
Grice-Mullins played very well, as did Davone Bess. One thing I noticed is that they both bring excitement to the game. Those two remind me of a young Chad Owens, a person and player who I have the highest respect for. But the one player I was most impressed with is that quarterback kid Colt Brennan. That kid is the real deal. It seemed like he enjoyed the competition and hostile environment of one of college football's most storied programs and game-day environments. Colt played like he truly loves the game. He is a gutsy, tough quarterback who has the size, strength and arm of an NFL caliber QB.
Colt's game reminded me a lot of former Hawaii QB Nick Rolovich during his record-setting 2003 season. I would bet that if Colt was able to play in that offense for five seasons he would break all the records Timmy Chang set during his tenure at Hawaii. Coach Jones just has a way of getting the most from his quarterbacks and he is doing just that with Colt.
After these next two years, Colt will definitely be a serious NFL caliber QB and be one of the top QBs for the 2008 draft. Even though they lost to Alabama I don't think Hawaii will lose many more games. They seem to have everything in place this year to be a very good team. I wish them the best of luck this season and will be following them closely.
Next week, I will give you a rundown from the Charger game and tell you about some of the things that I have been doing for The Travis LaBoy S.A.C.K. Foundation.
Former UH lineman Travis LaBoy is chronicling his season with the Tennessee Titans for the Star-Bulletin.